The Slaves' Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812

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Palgrave Macmillan, Jan 22, 2013 - History - 272 pages
2 Reviews

Images of American slavery conjure up cotton plantations and African American slaves locked in bondage until the Civil War. Yet early on in the nineteenth century the state of slavery was very different, and the political vicissitudes of the young nation offered diverse possibilities to slaves. In the century’s first two decades, the nation waged war against Britain, Spain, and various Indian tribes. Slaves played a role in the military operations, and the different sides viewed them as a potential source of manpower. While surprising numbers did assist the Americans, the wars created opportunities for slaves to find freedom among the Redcoats, the Spaniards, or the Indians. Author Gene Smith draws on a decade of original research and his curatorial work at the Fort Worth Museum in this fascinating and original narrative history. The way the young nation responded sealed the fate of slaves for the next half century until the Civil War. This drama sheds light on an extraordinary yet little known chapter in the dark saga of American history.

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The Slaves' Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812

User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

Newly minted Americans fought several wars—most significantly, the War of 1812—and slaves often joined in. But just as often they used war as a way to secure freedom by siding with the Redcoats, the ... Read full review

Review: The Slaves' Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812

User Review  - KW - Goodreads

A remarkable tale from history that I'd never heard of before. Reading can be a bit dense, but that's because it's so full of fascinating stories and because most of the resources are not written by ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Gene Allen Smith is a professor of History and the director of the Center for Texas Studies at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. The author of numerous books, he is also the curator of History at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Smith has received research awards from TCU and Montana State University-Billings, as well as fellowships from the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Virginia Historical Society, the US Department of the Navy, the US Military Academy at West Point, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

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